Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Metaphors really do matter—a lot

The metaphorical nature of terms like scheme and script is often overlooked. The use of computers as an analogy for the brain in educational theorizing has led to a belief that schemes, scripts, and cognitive structure itself are “data” or “programs” that people must “acquire” through instruction. The alternative view is that the distillation of experience into forms that might be conceptualized as schemes or scripts is natural for humans of any age.—Understanding Reading, pages 29–30

<idle musing>
I'm noticing this in most of the linguistics books I've been reading lately. They all treat the brain—and by extension, the person—as a machine, a large and very complicated computer. If we can just figure out the correct program, everything will make sense. Except that people aren't logical and, metaphors do matter.
</idle musing>

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